Kinesis UK GF-Ti V2

by Emma Osenton

Price £1,449.99
Colour Titanium
Most importantly this bike oozes class, it's a real head turner, understated elegance.

So you've all spent the last year listening to me telling you how much I love my GF-Ti, how wonderfully it climbs, how comfy it is over distance. When the V2 arrived I was a little reluctant if I'm honest, how could it be better? I was almost being a brat and dragging my feet.

Then you open the box and see that headtube in the light! You can't miss it, machined from billet titanium with the Kinesis UK logo embossed into it; it's a slinky thing of beauty, the tapered head tube flows into the new monocoque tracer forks like liquid.

As I move my hands over the frame I begin to notce the subtle difference in the tube shapes, the fatter head tube has allowed for a delicate flare of the top tube. The down tube is bi-ovalised as it meets the bottom bracket, with the chain stays a wee bit more chunky so you don't loose any power.

The cute little bullet ends finish things off nicely. There is something so wonderfully classy about Ti, the rawness of the hand brushed finish, the slight pinkness of the metal, it glows with an elegance that just can't be achieved with any other material.

That beautiful head tube

So enough of my describing what it looks like, you want to know how it rides! I put all the same finishing kit onto it from the V1, Dura-Ace 7900, FSA SLK-light compact cranks with Rotor Q-rings, FSA SLK compact bars. The only changes I had to make were for the brakes, which are now long drop to accommodate 28mm tyres and mudguards, so I fitted Ultegra and I swapped the FSA 6 degree drop stem for a Thomson 10 degree drop stem as the front end is a little higher.

For some, having a bit more height at the front is a good thing and can mean you don't have to lean forward as much; I however find it more comfortable to be lower. My lower back is quite stiff, probably from years leaning over on a bike, so if a bike is to high at the front I tend to slouch and then cause myself mid back pain as that's the point where my back does move. Alternatively you can make spaghetti/Mr Tickle arms jokes if you ever see me, and NO, my knuckles do not drag on the floor!

First rides are always fun, never go out without some tools like I did or you too will be squeaking back quite quickly to adjust the saddle angle too.OOOFFF! The BB has been set lower on this bike to give more stability, this combined with the chunky Tracer forks makes for even more stable cornering, climbing and descending. It always takes me a few rides to get to know a bike, even when it has the same kit on it. It does however give a far more fair comparison than one would normally get when being handed something entirely new.

Kinesis V2

My major test of a bike is how it climbs; I live in hilly West Yorkshire, you're either going up of down, so you don't want to waste any energy whilst doing so. Now I'd been out for a few rides including some hilly ones, like the Womens 100 and the Rapha Gentlemans race so I felt like me nd the GF-Ti were really getting to know one and other. Time for the best local test there is, the Cragg loop as it's affectionately known. It's 21 miles with 1300′ of climb in it. The fastest I'd done until now, albeit in November was 1.03.34, still a respectable time, and that was on the original GF-Ti. So now to put the V2 through its paces.

It felt fast as I was doing it, never was there a moment of flex or hesitation on my part. There was quite a lot of sweat, it was much warmer, so sweaty mess arrived home with a time of 00.57.38. Not bad, and for the next few days I was faster than all the boys who'd tried too!  Hope Factory Racing's Jack Clarkson has now set a time of 00.54.30. Still he's a boy and an International Under 23 so I'll let him have it for a bit eh!?

Now numbers are all well and good but what's more important is how it feels, like I've said, the new Tracer fork and lower BB gives a wonderfully safe and solid feeling when going really hard up and down the hills, every stamp down pushes you forwards smoothly and effortlessly.

Most importantly this bike oozes class, it's a real head turner, understated elegance. It was now time to take it out for what can only be described as a savage ride. I think this is probably this hilliest ride I've managed in under 100 miles. 13′169′ of climbing, to be geekily precise, on the hottest day of the year too! The GF-Ti V2 never let up on it's elegance, now I know I'm a climber or more to the point a loony climber but the bike behaved wonderfully. I only wear thin gloves yet I was hardly getting any road buzz, it just took all the climbs in its stride.

What can I say, they've done it again, Kinesis has made it even better, and if you want to you can spoil it by adding mudguards and pannier racks, but really its far too nice for that!

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